August 19, 2011
The Disturbing Politics of Public Education
This very ambitious piece is a relatively in-depth exploration of the intersection between public education and the dominant political forces within the United States. There are several significant segments to this recording. The interview with the Wisconsin teachers not only explores the impact of current educational policies on student learning but also highlights the importance of the union (in this case the NEA) for these struggling teachers, as well as their disappointment in President Obama's failed leadership in protecting public education from attacks by powerful private interests.
And the voice of Jonathan Kozol is pure music to the ears of this retired educator, union member and political activist. Kozol is correct when he states that there is contempt for public schools in this country, and his criticism of the charter school movement in Massachusetts, especially Western Mass, is on target. He concisely discusses the treachery of the corporate agenda for public schools as well as the destructive influence of liberal elitists. The truth is always invigorating, and bless Kozol for his courage and relentless energy in presenting the truth about public education in this country over so many decades. Having been born in Lawrence, I appreciate his reference about the educational struggles that the poor people and people of color are having in that besieged community. I am impressed that he manages to end his interview with a genuinely hopeful message.
Anyone who is concerned with the quality of public educational in this country should listen to intelligently crafted radio show. Thank you to all involved in producing this powerful piece.